Philippine campaign in Rio ends as Moroccan jin wins repechage to deny Alora shot at bronze
Kirstie Alora struggled against Maria Espinoza of Mexico and did a bit better in the repechage but still couldn't pull off the win against Wian Dislam. Jerome Ascano

RIO DE JANIERO — Kirstie Elaine Alora lost to Wiam Dislam of Morocco, 7-5, on Saturday (Sunday Manila time) in the repechage to miss out on a chance at a bronze medal in the Olympic taekwondo competitions.

Given a chance at bronze after Maria Espinoza of Mexico reached the finals, Alora couldn’t finish off a much-taller Dislam as she failed to sustain a 5-4 lead in the final 20 seconds.

Down 7-5, national head coach Roberto ‘Kitoy’ Cruz requested for a video review after Alora issued a kick to the head—a maneuver worth three points—that didn’t register on the scoreboard. However, the review showed Alora’s kick only grazed Dislam’s head gear.

The loss ended Alora’s campaign that began with a loss to Espinoza in the round-of-16, but got another opportunity when the Mexican jin advanced to the gold medal match.

Alora, however, said she fought better this time against Dislam despite giving up a few inches, as she was able to prepare against taller fighters in her gear-up for the Olympics.

"Hindi ako maka-engage ng maayos sa first match. Dito, I scored pero kinulang at hindi lang pinalad 'yung isang sipa ko sa ulo. Alam ko tumama pero hindi nag-sensor," said Alora.'

Follow the writer on Twitter: @jeromeascano